Event Category: Nashville
THE SHOW THAT MADE COUNTRY MUSIC FAMOUS
From Philadelphia to Fiji, everyone knows the Grand Ole Opry is the show that made
country music famous. How it earned that reputation is quite a tale.
It began on the night of Nov. 28, 1925, when an announcer on Nashville radio station
WSM introduced fiddle player Uncle Jimmy Thompson as the first performer on a
new show called “The WSM Barn Dance.” Now, more than 90 years later, the show
Hay started is still going strong. Along the way, it has launched countless country
music careers and led the way for Nashville to become Music City.
Early Opry performers such as Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Ernest Tubb, and Bill Monroe
became musical foundations for the Opry during its years in residence at the
historic Ryman Auditorium, later welcoming to the stage artists who would become
entertainment icons in their own right including Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Bill
The Opry said goodbye to the Ryman Auditorium on Friday night, March 15, 1974.
The next night, President Richard Nixon joined Roy Acuff on stage at the Grand Ole
Opry House. Still, they could keep in touch with the traditions of the Ryman because
an six-foot circle of hardwood was taken from the Ryman and placed center stage at
the Opry House.
Today the magic continues. Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Martina
McBride, Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Mel Tillis, and Carrie Underwood
are among the stars who are part of the Opry family. Thousands of people make
pilgrimages every year to see and hear them, while millions tune in to enjoy the
Grand Ole Opry via 650 WSM, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, syndicated radio, mobile
apps or opry.com.